1939-1940 BSA Junior Model D1
18 x 1 3/8″ Tyres
23″ Standover Height
This style of BSA Junior bicycle, made in two frame sizes (16″ and 18″), was manufactured between 1937 and 1939. The 1940 BSA catalogue illustrates the 1939 model, with its price increased from £3 11/- to £4.
The only difference I can see between the 1937-1938 model and 1939-1940 is that the earlier catalogues describe the colour as maroon, while in 1939-1940 the stated colour is red. So I have assumed this to be from 1939-1940.
Stocks of BSA children’s bicycles ran out during the war and, when production recommenced in 1946, the BSA Junior D1 was replaced with the new Junior ‘Parabike,’ styled after the wartime paratrooper BSA Airborne with twin tube elliptic frame.
Metal was recycled during WW2, including many bicycles donated to the war effort, with the result that there are now few surviving pre-war BSA Junior bicycles. I found this one in the USA in 2011. It had been imported in 1945 by the Rich Child Cycle Co of New Jersey, when they set up their new American BSA agency. I enjoyed repatriating it.
It’s in excellent all-round condition despite the ravages of time, though the chrome on the rear wheel has seen better days. The paintwork is original, with transfers (decals) intact on the headstock and chaincase.
1939 BSA CATALOGUE
ABOVE: REAR STAND IN ‘DOWN’ POSITION
BELOW: REAR STAND FOLDED UP
RICH CHILD CYCLE CO
NUTLEY, NJ, USA
Alfred Rich Child was Managing Director of Sales for Harley Davidson in pre-World War II Japan. A fluctuating yen led Child to the idea of manufacturing Harley-Davidsons in Japan. With backing from the Sankyo company, in 1929 the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales Company of Japan established the Shinagawa factory, the first motorcycle production factory in Japan. In spite of the success of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales Company of Japan, changing business relationships forced Child to leave the company in 1936. He immediately started Nichiman Harley-Davidson Sales in Tokyo, importing Harley-Davidsons from Milwaukee, and ran that operation until 1937, when a nearly eight-fold import tariff increase combined with national political tensions made it impossible to continue business.
Child returned to the United States and founded the Rich Child Cycle Co. In 1945 he obtained the national distributorship rights for BSA and Sunbeam motorcycles. Rich Child Cycle Co was sold to BSA Motorcycles Ltd. England in 1954.
This BSA Junior Model D1 was current in 1945, when Rich Child starting importing BSA bicycles and motorcycles. The later style of BSA Junior Parabike – Model PJ/1 – did not start until the following year.
1940 BSA CATALOGUE
BSA JUNIOR & BSA MILITARY BICYCLE
1937-1940 BSA JUNIOR & JUVENILE MODELS AT A GLANCE:
1946-1953 MODEL PJ/1 ‘PARABIKE’